Day 1 – Airport to hotel > Check-in > Vieux Nice (old town) > dinner at La Villa d’Este
Though I usually take Cathay Pacific given my love for Asiamiles, I instead took Emirates from Hong Kong to Nice, as there aren’t any direct flight to get there. It is one of my favourite airlines as their aircrafts are new and comfortable and the service is great. It took me a little over 4 hours for transit at the Dubai international airport and Emirates even offered me a meal voucher.
For some reason, Dubai airport is very cold, the aircon is definitely getting a good workout. I always have to wear a jacket when I get transit there, and the aircon power hasn’t changed since my last visit there. I arrived there at around 4:30am and decided to get a manicure & pedicure to kill time before getting on the flight. I went to the Be Relax spa in terminal 1 when I later realised that my gate is located in terminal 3…I think the overall experience is pricey and over charged for the service I received (I probably have high expectations as getting a manicure or pedicure done in Hong Kong can be quite cheap, and airports aren’t usually great value for money). They did’t even provide free wifi there and I don’t think I would go back there in future.
I wasn’t very pleased with the disposable slippers that I purchased for my pedicure. I was literally stepping on a piece of paper with a paper-thin strap holding my feet and I was wearing this walking from terminal 1 to terminal 3! If you don’t have a pair of proper flipflops with you, don’t bother getting a pedicure there.
Another great way to kill your transit time in Dubai airport would be going to Snooze Cube for a power nap. Minimum stay would be 2 hours.
Luckily I have always been a quick walker and I still managed to walk all the way to terminal 3 and redeem my free meal before getting on my flight. I chose Ocean Basket for the free meal as I have eaten here before. There are 2 choices you can redeem with the voucher and I picked the fish and chips with a bottle of water. Food quality is ok and I can’t complain as it is free.
Finally I arrived at Nice Cote d’Azur airport only to find out Mr Map who took easyjet from London had a massive flight delay. I was planning to take a taxi to get to the hotel as it is just a 10mins ride. Before I hop on to the taxi, the driver told me that it would cost Euro 40 from the airport to my hotel! I thought it was too much for a 10-min ride and I took the Express bus #99 in the end which cost me Euro 6. Even for a small girl lugging around a big suitcase, the savings of Euro 34 was definitely worth it.
As soon as I had a shower to freshen up at the hotel, I immediately went to the Orange store on Avenue Jean Medecin to get my sim card. I need my google map when Mr Map is not around 😦 It cost me 20Euro with limited data (can’t remember it’s 1Gb or 2Gb of data) with some call credits. Unfortunately the details of my phone plan wasn’t shown in any of my receipts. You can also get the sim card at the airport but it slipped my mind whilst I was thinking about the taxi cost.
Once I sorted out my sim, I walked along the street and stopped at Nicetoile shopping mall for food. I went to La Brioche Doree, a bakery cafe for a quick bite. That was my 1st meal in Nice – a chicken wrap and a bottle of water. There were quite a lot of shops in the mall but I didn’t have enough time to explore.
After my light lunch, I walked towards Place Massena and went to Vieux Nice.
There is a market at Vieux Nice called Cours Saleya market. You can find a lot of souvenirs there.
I stopped at Fenocchio for ice cream. It is quite popular and has a high ranking on tripadvisor and yelp. I went for 1 scoop of lavender flavour. I think the lavender flavour is not as strong as I expected. There are many other flavours that seemed quite appetising, though I thought with lavender season upon us, I followed the seasonal flavour.
Opening Hours: 09:00-midnight (close on Tuesday)
Address: 6 rue de la Poissonerie, Nice
There is a souvenir shop near Fenocchio selling the famous Provence soap and herbs. I didn’t buy any herbs but I think the packaging looks really nice.
When Mr Map is not around, it is the best time to do some souvenir shopping. I walked around Cours Saleya and there is a shop called La Belle iloise that is famous for their canned sardines. I was impressed with all different varieties of canned food sold there and could not believe there is a shop which specialises in canned food only. Although I didn’t buy anything from the shop, I still think this is a shop that is worth a visit.
Opening Hours: Mon: 10:00-13:00 & 14:30-18:00; Tue to Sat: 09:30-13:00 & 14:30-18:00; Sun: 09:30-13:00 & 14:30-17:30
Address: 32 Cours Saleya, Nice
A l’Olivier is another great shop for souvenir shopping. You can find different flavours of olive oil there. Their packaging is so nice and makes them a great souvenir from France. My personal favourite is the black truffle infused olive oil.
Address: 7 Rue Saint-François de Paule (Marché aux Fleurs), Nice
The beautiful beach area in Nice is only a few minutes walk away from Vieux Nice.
I was walking around rue Massena and walked pass La Villa d’Este. It has a high rating on yelp and I decided to go there for dinner. I ordered the seafood pasta and the portion was HUGE! I couldn’t finish all the mussels and clams. It would be much nicer if Mr Map was there to share the pasta with me. I think the pasta is good but not exceptional.
Address: 6, rue Masséna, Nice
It was quite dark after dinner and I needed to walk back to the hotel after dinner. Our hotel was located in a quiet street and it was a bit scary to walk back by myself. I should have got an uber ride back, though with people still walking on the streets and my belly quite full, I decided that a walk was what I needed. Luckily I got back safe and sound and Mr Map finally made it to Nice, though I was already asleep after a 12 hours flight delay!
Have you been to Nice, France? Which area is your favourite? If you enjoy reading my blog, feel free to follow me on twitter @MinionTravel to get the latest update.